How pivoting my business lead to a much happier entrepreneur
As a creative entrepreneur, I have taken many paths and detours and adventures to figure out the kind of products I wanted to offer. As a professional graphic designer, it seemed pretty obvious when I opened up an Etsy shop that I would offer graphic design services and products. To read how that went, click here. I started my business as a graphic designer and certainly still use my graphic design skills pretty heavily, but I wanted a different kind of side hustle. I have been an artist and especially a painter for literally as long as I can remember. I don’t know how I got started or why but I know that I’ve always loved it. I’ve explored various mediums between watercolors, acrylics, oils and more. When I realized I wanted to be more than a graphic designer for my side hustle, I started thinking to myself, “Could my art sell?” The answer is a resounding yes! Now, I have only been selling my actual artwork for about six months and though it is not raking in the dough yet, I am happier than I have ever been.
My absolutely favorite thing about selling my art is the ability to sell in PERSON. I did my very first craft fair in December of 2018 and it was everything from terrifying to so unbelievably rewarding. I have my next craft fair coming up here in June and I can’t wait! I sell prints and greeting cards and plan to offer custom orders this year. My favorite thing about selling at a craft fair is the ability to get feedback right there in person. Unlike my Etsy shop where I’ve have countless visits and favorites but might not be making the sales I want. Craft fairs are by far the best part and I have very high hopes for my upcoming one.
When I first started my Etsy shop, I was offering graphic design products and custom invitations and wedding programs. Though I still offer a version of these products, I am also transitioning my product line to be more art and print based. Every time I create an art piece I scan it into my computer. Part of the reason being so I can keep record as I sell my originals at the craft fairs. But another reason is so I can edit them and offer them for sale as digital files on my Etsy shop! Though the income is not sustainable yet, I have faith with my various tools and marketing techniques that these products are going to provide the passive income I need to provide some financial freedom for my family.
Another opportunity I have is art licensing. To see some of my artwork in action check out my Society6 shop here. Art licensing is another option of passive income that allows me to continually create art and then the heavy lifting of selling, producing and shipping is left to Society6. Society 6 is a print on demand company offering freelance artists like myself the ability to get our artwork out there on high quality Society6 products. The artists are paid in royalties every time a product with their artwork is sold and I can tell you first hand, that is a fun experience. Right now there are people walking around with MY ARTWORK on their phone cases and tote bags. MY ARTWORK is hanging in people’s homes! That is so rewarding.
Graphic design is where I started my creative business. It has had its ups and downs. There have been plenty of times where I wanted to quit. But through my experiences I’ve learned that you have to go with your passion. You can’t be in it just for the money. First hand experience can tell you that if you driving force is money, you won’t be happy. My favorite thing to do now is create art. I get to be an artist. I still work full time and probably will for a long while. But when I can spend my weekends painting and creating, my heart is so full. Some day I do hope to have the financial freedom to really make painting, craft shows, and online art selling my full time job. But until then, I will continue to grind that side hustle lifestyle. Do you have a side hustle you’re passionate about? Pop a link in the comments I’d love to see what you’re up to!